Crowds swarmed the 122-foot shuttle as the free weekend event got underway. Many special events are planned, but organizers say they learned Tuesday that there was no hope of NASA participating as scheduled because of the stalemate in Washington.
"It's had an impact on this Endeavour Fest," said Jeff Rudolph, president of the California Science Center. "You would've seen a number of NASA exhibits and NASA staff here talking about current and future space programs and what they're doing. They planned to be here and planned to be part of the celebration, and with the shutdown, they can't be here."
As a backup plan, retired astronauts will be on-hand to talk about their experiences with shuttle missions, and a number of interactive exhibits will move forward.
Officials at the Science Center say they want to keep the momentum going. Since the shuttle traveled through the city last year, 2.7 million guests have visited the Science Center - an increase of 1 million people.
Endeavour Fest will also feature the debut "Three Nights, Three Days," a 20-minute documentary on the shuttle's journey through the streets of Southern California.
Endeavour Fest is open through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information about Endeavour Fest, visit the event website.